Sonowal announces Dhubri port's infrastructure upgrade

01 Jun 2023

Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, stated that they would consider the establishment of a new warehouse and a new road for the benefit of stakeholders from Bhutan and Bangladesh at the Dhubri port.

Sonowal took part in a Stakeholders Meeting held in order to unlock the Export Import (EXIM) trade potential of the Dhubri port. The meeting, organised by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), was attended by senior officials of IWAI, including Sanjay Bandopadhyay, Chairman of IWAI, and representatives from the Inland Waterways Transport of the Government of Assam, as well as stakeholders and business groups from Bangladesh and Bhutan. During the meeting, various issues affecting the smooth operation of the port and the limitations faced by business interest groups in utilising the Dhubri port optimally were discussed.

Sonowal remarked, "We have been constantly working to improve the transportation sector of the country under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In line with PM Modi's 'Transformation via Transportation' vision, we have placed increasing importance on revitalising our extensive network of river systems to serve as an efficient alternative mode of communication for both cargo and passenger traffic. It has been proven that inland waterways are the most cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly means of modern transportation. By investing in the infrastructure necessary to ensure smooth navigation through inland waterways, we are committed to unlocking the value and economic potential of the interior regions of India. Dhubri, with its rich history as a thriving river port, is well-positioned to unlock significant value and act as a catalyst for growth in the region. Today, following our discussions with trade stakeholders from Bhutan, Bangladesh, and India, we have a clear task ahead. I assure you that we will address all their needs and concerns within a specific timeframe to fully realise the potential of the Dhubri port. Given the immense potential of the Dhubri port, we are also considering the construction of a modern integrated office complex that will house the offices of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Home Affairs. Additionally, we are contemplating the construction of a new warehouse and road at the Dhubri port, which will not only make it an appealing proposition but will also provide our stakeholders with an opportunity for mutual growth in the region."

Sonowal stated, "Northeast India has experienced relative stagnation during the six decades of Congress misrule. No one can deny the importance and opportunities that the Northeast has received under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past nine years since 2014. As Modi ji has recognized the Northeast as the Ashta Lakshmi of India, the region has embarked on a path of growth and development. During these nine years, all the state capitals in the region, including Aizawl and Gangtok, situated at considerable elevations above sea level, have been connected to the country's railway network. Recognizing our extensive network of rivers, the Modi government has identified 21 rivers in the Northeast as National Waterways. In order to fully utilise and unlock the tremendous value of this unique opportunity, our government is deeply committed to investing in and improving our infrastructure, and creating a conducive environment for all stakeholders to achieve mutual growth and development. I have come to Dhubri on the directive of our Prime Minister, as he is heavily invested in unlocking the trade potential of this region where the Dhubri port plays a pivotal role. With Modi ji's vision of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (Collective Efforts, Inclusive Development), I am confident that the Dhubri port will regain its past glory."

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